A 7-month-old malpractice claim against Harbor-UCLA Medical Center escalated this week when a Long Beach mother filed a $10-million Superior Court suit alleging that she was wrongly separated from her newborn baby after a hospital urine test indicated that the infant's blood held a trace of cocaine. The test turned out to be in error, according to lawyers for 31-year-old X-ray technician Barbara Ann Myles.
Christopher Joseph Myles, born Jan. 29, had been given the urine test shortly after birth because he was jittery. Based on the test results, hospital officials separated the infant from his mother for 36 hours before discovering the error.
Long Beach attorney Robert L. Kennedy served the county-owned hospital in Torrance with an administrative claim for damages in February, but it was later denied. That opened the way for the civil suit.
A hospital spokesman declined to comment.